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The Centre of Expertise in Longevity and Long-Term Care, a member of the ILC–Global Alliance, is proud to share experiences with clinical implementation of a newly accredited dance therapy course for older adults with dementia, and their care providers.

Benefits of physical activity for older adults, even the frail ones or those with dementia, are well known and well documented. Our research team studied the effect of a simple dance-based exercise called EXDASE (Exercise Dance for Seniors) on various outcomes among nursing home residents. The results were presented in several scientific articles (titles and abstracts of the major ones are available on PubMed – for more details follow the links below).

The author of the dance therapy intervention is one of our colleagues, Petr Veleta, PhD. He has been dancing with older adults for several years now. Because the response and reactions of older adults to dance sessions are more than favorable, Petr decided to develop a one-day course for older adults with dementia, and their care providers. The course, titled “Music and movement as an activation and communication tool for the older adults with dementia and their care providers”, was accredited by Czech Alzheimer Association and Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, and in summer 2016 it was successfully implemented in ten nursing homes in the Czech Republic.

The course consists of two half-day sessions one month apart instead of originally planned one day session. It was preferred by both participants as well as the instructor. The first part is focused on theoretical issues and includes topics such as dance session preparation, music selection, contact initiation, physical activity vocabulary, reminiscence, emotions, motivation, appreciation or non-verbal and positive communication. The second part is based on practical demonstrations. The reactions were great. Most of  the 123 participants evaluated the course as exceptional and very useful. Older adults who took part in the practical demonstrations participated with enthusiasm and expressed enjoyment.

The fact that the combination of physical activity and music can raise strong and memorable emotions among older adults with dementia seems to be confirmed once again. We would like to share one of Petr´s experiences that speaks for all: During a practical demonstration Petr invited a lady to dance the waltz. She was very pleased and told Petr that she very much enjoyed the last time they danced waltz together… she suffered from severe dementia and Petr danced in that nursing home five years earlier. Is it possible that she remembered?

Effect of the Exercise Dance for Seniors (EXDASE) program on lower-body functioning among institutionalized older adults
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19934443

The effect of dance on depressive symptoms in nursing home residents
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24913212

Dance as Prevention of Late Life Functional Decline Among Nursing Home Residents
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26320145


  

ILC-Czech Republic

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